Skip to main content

2023 Cleantech Panelist Speaker

Michael Piehler

Director, UNC Institute for the Environment and Chief Sustainability Officer

UNC Chapel Hill


Mike Piehler is a professor, director of the UNC Institute for the Environment, chief sustainability officer and special assistant to the chancellor for sustainability at UNC-Chapel Hill. He holds faculty appointments in the Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences Department, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and the Environment, Ecology, and Energy Program at UNC.

Piehler received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from UNC. His research and teaching focus on the connection between human activity and the function of natural systems, particularly at interfaces between land and water. His recent studies have explored the impacts of land use change on stream and reservoir water quality, the effects of coastal habitats (oysters, sea grass, and marshes) on nutrient dynamics, and the role of natural systems in coastal resilience.

Piehler advises a variety of governments, non-government organizations, and private sector organizations.  His research program is supported by a diverse portfolio of federal, state, and regional sponsors.